Monday, August 3, 2009
Vinography: Hardly Worth It!
I didn't know what to expect upon first meeting Hardly Walleyes, Social Media Director for Murphy-Goode Wines, but I certainly didn't expect flowers. It's not like I'm a bigshot blogger feigning humility or anything. And it's not like I expect something for free, like wine samples, airline tickets, front row seats for my favorite concerts (oooh, I hear the Captain and Tennille are making a comeback) or unmarked bills sent directly to me at Vinography: The Wine Shill, 1313 Puffpiece Lane, SF. (Let's say I did get some free stuff, I certainly always put a Full Disclosure statement at the end of each post, which is more than any of those New Jersey rabbis did at the end of their Saturday services.) But the flowers were a nice touch. And to think Hardly had gone all the way to the Healdsburg Cemetery to get them just for me!
It's hard to imagine any of you reading this don't know, but Hardly Walleyes was the lucky winner of the Murphy-Goode Social Media Position. Murphy-Goode's original idea was to pay a person $1000 for every point of their IQ over the course of the six months that blogger/tweeter/podcaster/poseur worked for the winery, up to $120,000. The stumbling economy forced them to set their sites a bit lower and when Hardly scored a dazzling 60 on the IQ exam, it was a win-win situation. After spending an afternoon with him at the personal request of Jess (call me Huckleberry) Jackson, tasting the wines and helping him tie his shoes, I can say that I believe they made the right call. Hardly Walleyes is Murphy-Goode wines. And I wouldn't be surprised if he stays on after his six months have gone by. The little guy makes the perfect pet.
Jess and the Murphy-Goode gang livin' the lifestyle! A Vinography Image
Hardly comes from our own wine blogosphere having written a never-nominated wine blog called dirtymouthwine for the past several years. Like so many of our finest wine bloggers, Hardly makes no claim to having a wide knowledge of wine, and it shows in his posts. I find it refreshing in this day and age of so-called "experts" that a person with so few qualifications can successfully make a name for himself in the wine business. I know how hard that is. And I was flattered that Hardly confided that he looked up to me as a role model in that regard. He told me that as I was positioning the flowers on an old fence rail in front of a vineyard at sundown for one of my patented Vinography Images that proves how sensitive I am. (I'll be posting that image the day after tomorrow, right after my scathing commentary on the great Rieslings of Oregon--a hint, only 24 of the 28 scored 9 or higher!)
Hardly's experience as a marginally talented wine blogger will serve him well in his new capacity. Casting an uncritical eye on the wines of Murphy-Goode is exactly what Huckleberry was hoping for, and it's hard to imagine even a dozen more IQ points would have changed that, but here is Hardly Walleyes hard at work writing and tweeting and blogging about the Sonoma County lifestyle. Oh, it's a big adjustment moving to the sleepy little town of Healdsburg after the bright lights of Atlanta, the town Sherman should have burned. But Hardly is nothing if not resourceful and he's filled his new digs with things to remind him of home--little no-skid flowers on the shower floor, Flintstones vitamins in the cupboard and all of his Jonas Brothers posters! In just a few days Hardly has made Healdsburg his home, and Healdsburg is better off for it.
Hardly and I strolled over to the tasting room in Healdsburg so I could sample the fine wines of Murphy-Goode with Walleyes as my guide. We got a little lost, but Windsor is lovely this time of year, I took another trademark Vinography Image of the Windsor Square, so captivatingly abandoned as always. When we finally arrived at the tasting room and I'd helped little Hardly zip up, the wonderful Murphy-Goode hospitality team had more flowers waiting for me, and a new Prius, which was thoughtful, and oh so Sonoma. But it was the fantastic wines that I had come for. These fine Sonoma County wines sourced from so many different vineyards are such a treat to taste, and so easy to write about with none of those long and bothersome single vineyard names all over them from appellations I think are so confusing. The Murphy-Goode wines are simple, like the great Hardly Walleyes, the little guy all wrapped up in Tweeting and Blogging and Facebooking and the Jonas Brothers, but give them a chance and they'll make great pets.
Full Disclosure: No animals were hurt in the making of this post.